Forum
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...

Insulated Pants (Mountain Hardwear vs First Ascent)

Info on gear, conditioning, and preparation for hiking/climbing. Gear Classifieds
User avatar
Posts: 127
Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 6:42 pm
Location: Westminster, CO

Insulated Pants (Mountain Hardwear vs First Ascent)

Postby mts4602 » Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:15 am

I'm trying to decide between Mountain Hardwear's Compressor Pants and First Ascents Igniter Pants. I love how First Ascent's clothing fits, everything always seems perfect. Problem though is that they are not full zip and I am worried about that aspect of putting on crampons and general venting purposes. The full zip thing is the only part I don't like, but I'm thinking about going with MH.

Anybody have any suggestions?

Matt
Matt

User avatar
Posts: 530
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 3:25 pm
Location: Broomfield, CO

Re: Insulated Pants (Mountain Hardwear vs First Ascent)

Postby smoove » Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:35 am

mts4602 wrote:I'm trying to decide between Mountain Hardwear's Compressor Pants and First Ascents Igniter Pants. I love how First Ascent's clothing fits, everything always seems perfect. Problem though is that they are not full zip and I am worried about that aspect of putting on crampons and general venting purposes. The full zip thing is the only part I don't like, but I'm thinking about going with MH.

Anybody have any suggestions?

Matt


I'm not sure full zip matters with respect to crampons for pants you won't be taking on and off during the hike. Maybe others will disagree. Full zip is more important for shell pants, however. You'd have to take boots and crampons off before putting those on without the zippers. I don't have experience with either of these (but I know what the Baron would say). The Mountain Hardwears look a little too heavily insulated for hiking at first glance. But maybe that's just how they look. I have some of these that I found cheap on Gear Trade. http://www.arcteryx.com/product.aspx?EN/Gamma-MX-Pant I love the huge stretchy side pockets for snacks. But you'd have to find them heavily discounted or lightly used if you don't want to drop some serious dough.

Re: Insulated Pants (Mountain Hardwear vs First Ascent)

Postby Bean » Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:57 am

smoove wrote:I'm not sure full zip matters with respect to crampons for pants you won't be taking on and off during the hike.

The pants in question are generally not for the full duration of an outing.
gdthomas wrote:Bean, you're an idiot.

http://throughpolarizedeyes.com

User avatar
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:58 am
Location: Boulder, CO

Re: Insulated Pants (Mountain Hardwear vs First Ascent)

Postby AndyJB444 » Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:58 am

I have the MH pants and used them up on Denali. They worked great, and I didn't have any problems with getting them over crampons. The non-reinforced fabric areas do tear easily, so keep axes and other sharp objects away!

The igniters are 7/8 zip anyway, so not much of an issue there, in my opinion.

I think you can't go wrong with either.

Although, I think they would be overkill for winter hiking in CO...

User avatar
Posts: 530
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 3:25 pm
Location: Broomfield, CO

Re: Insulated Pants (Mountain Hardwear vs First Ascent)

Postby smoove » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:01 am

Bean wrote:
smoove wrote:I'm not sure full zip matters with respect to crampons for pants you won't be taking on and off during the hike.

The pants in question are generally not for the full duration of an outing.


I did wonder. He didn't say whether he intended to wear them for the full duration or to retain heat during stops.

Posts: 105
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 7:56 pm
Location: New Hampshire & Colorado

Re: Insulated Pants (Mountain Hardwear vs First Ascent)

Postby robby40 » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:09 am

I have had the Mountain Hardwear pants for a number of years, and while I do not use them regularly, I like them a lot. They are good ‘full kit’ pants for when it is very cold or cold and windy. They are not waterproof. I tend to use them with a shell over them in the worst conditions. The full zips are nice for on/off and for venting when actively climbing [hot] and too much heat is being retained but want to keep them on for when stopped or when greater wind exposure is expected. I can get the shivers/cold easier than others so like the insurance of some warmer gear. I do not think I have ever washed them and they have kept their insulating value well. If these fit you, it seems that it is hard to go wrong with them. But, they could well be overkill for the vast majority of Colorado winter days.

Re: Insulated Pants (Mountain Hardwear vs First Ascent)

Postby Bean » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:12 am

smoove wrote:I did wonder. He didn't say whether he intended to wear them for the full duration or to retain heat during stops.

I've got the MH Compressor and they usually just stay in the bottom of my pack. Too warm to hike in, too much of a pain to take out, put on, take off, and put away. Emergency use only, unless it gets miserably cold - but I run hot as long as I keep moving. Also great for hanging around camp when it's cold.
gdthomas wrote:Bean, you're an idiot.

http://throughpolarizedeyes.com

Online
User avatar
Posts: 421
Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 9:08 am
Location: Edwards, CO

Re: Insulated Pants (Mountain Hardwear vs First Ascent)

Postby jbchalk » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:15 am

I love my old MHW Chugach Pant...I think they are called the Compressor pant now? I've worn them on Denali, Aconcagua, Elbrus, etc summit days and have been absolutely awesome.

User avatar
Posts: 530
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 3:25 pm
Location: Broomfield, CO

Re: Insulated Pants (Mountain Hardwear vs First Ascent)

Postby smoove » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:16 am

Bean wrote:
smoove wrote:I did wonder. He didn't say whether he intended to wear them for the full duration or to retain heat during stops.

I've got the MH Compressor and they usually just stay in the bottom of my pack. Too warm to hike in, too much of a pain to take out, put on, take off, and put away. Emergency use only, unless it gets miserably cold - but I run hot as long as I keep moving. Also great for hanging around camp when it's cold.


I run hot while moving too. That's why I said they looked too heavily insulated for hiking. I got the impression he might be using them for hiking/climbing because he mentioned venting. Sounds like a good emergency item, though--I actually don't have something like this for my legs yet.

User avatar
Posts: 127
Joined: Wed May 05, 2010 6:42 pm
Location: Westminster, CO

Re: Insulated Pants (Mountain Hardwear vs First Ascent)

Postby mts4602 » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:17 am

I want them for use in camp and possibly as an emergency backup in winter. Also Denali is in my plans for the future so I know I need them there.

Sounds like i can't go wrong with either.

User avatar
Posts: 530
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2007 3:25 pm
Location: Broomfield, CO

Re: Insulated Pants (Mountain Hardwear vs First Ascent)

Postby smoove » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:29 am

mts4602 wrote:I want them for use in camp and possibly as an emergency backup in winter. Also Denali is in my plans for the future so I know I need them there.


My mistake. Sounds like the MH pants have been tested as camp/emergency pants and on serious mountains by some pretty experienced people on here! Might get some myself.

User avatar
Posts: 2146
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 8:47 pm
Location: Colorado Springs

Re: Insulated Pants (Mountain Hardwear vs First Ascent)

Postby Dancesatmoonrise » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:02 am

mts4602 wrote:I want them for use in camp and possibly as an emergency backup in winter.


I like full zips for an emergency backup in winter. This is because, at altitude, in cold, in bad weather, like in the kinds of conditions you'd need them (emergency) note that it takes forever just to accomplish simple tasks. This sounds silly sitting at your desk at work or in the comfort of your living room, but I do believe there is a big difference in the time/hassle/danger factor of trying to get non-zip pants on in the high alpine in winter - when you need them most. That said, this has been my experience:

1. On the cheap: There are decent, fairly light weight (16 oz) insulated ski pants you can find in places like the REI outlet. I got a pair for $30. They are large enough to put on without taking boots off. Try this in the living room first, obviously. This was my standard carry two or three seasons ago. I never needed to use them.

2. Full zip ultralight: Another cheapie from REI outlet; I found a pair of supposedly waterproof-breathable full zip pants. They weigh 11 oz. They are not insulated. When temps were colder than anticipated on North Massive in winter, these pants went on and helped keep the feet warm. (Warm pants help keep feet warm.)

3. Full zip alternative: I didn't get the MH, but got the full-zip Patagonia micro-puff pants last year. They weigh 16 oz. (vs about 22 oz for the MH.) They look like they're going to work well as a bottom-of-the-pack addition for winter 14er daytrips, along with a 26 oz hooded down jacket. Haven't had to use them on a peak yet, but the thought was, I'd rather pay a little more and carry a little more weight for the zips, and be able to get them on over snowshoes, boots, crampons, whatever, when the weather gets rough. I've set aside the cheap ski pants and replaced them with these pants for future winter travel. They should also work nicely for camp, but would probably be a little more fragile than the MH.


I also have a pair of MH insulated/windstopper full zip pants that weigh about what the compressors do. They are super beefy, but I find they are too heavy for backup use.

Like Bean, I find that the most minimal pants layer is necessary in winter when moving. I use either a pair of ancient NF nylon pants (uninsulated) or an old Montbell super light fleece pant, or, in really cold conditions, the NF nylon pant with a thin Smartwool underlayer. Usually the uninsulated NF pants work fine, and keep the wind out. Have a backup, of course, and not an underlayer that requires taking the overlayer off.

Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: its_not_a_tuba, mkrier and 14 guests